University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Alan Furst:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Furst, Alan
Title: Alan Furst Papers
Dates: 1961-2005
Abstract: The papers of American writer Alan Furst contain drafts of his novels and non-fiction works, as well as articles, book reviews, essays, poems, screenplays, and stories. Correspondence and career-related material are also included.
RLIN Record #: None
Extent: 31 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 galley folder (14.62 linear feet)
Language: English.
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

The papers of American writer Alan Furst contain drafts of his novels and non-fiction, as well as articles, book reviews, essays, poems, screenplays, and stories. Literary and personal correspondence as well as career-related material is also included. The papers are organized into three series: I. Works, 1963-2004; II. Correspondence, 1963-2005; and III. Career-Related Material.

The Works series is subdivided into Subseries A. Books, and Subseries B. Other Writings. Book titles are arranged alphabetically and include the novels Blood of Victory (2002), The Caribbean Account (1981), Dark Star (1991), Dark Voyage (2004), Heart of the Raining Queen (serialized, 1977), Kingdom of Shadows (2001), Night Soldiers (1988), The Paris Drop (1980), The Polish Officer (1995), Red Gold (1999), Shadow Trade (1983), The World at Night (1996) including 1997 screenplay, and Your Day in the Barrel (1976). Also present is material for The Book of Spies (2002), an anthology of literary espionage edited by Furst, and drafts of One Smart Cookie (1987), written with Debbi Fields, founder of the cookie and baked goods chain "Mrs. Field's Cookies." All drafts are typed, rather than handwritten or computer-generated. Revised sections are often typed and taped on top of the original typescript. In addition, the drafts contain many handwritten changes. Frequently present are notes and research material, a succession of drafts, copy-edited typescripts, setting copies, proofs, dust jackets, publicity (including posters for Dark Star and Red Gold), and reviews. A small amount of editorial correspondence is available for a number of the novels.

Subseries B. Other Writings includes early typescripts such as a graduate school paper on Sir George Savile, a fragment from an untitled first novel, and poems. Also present are newspaper and magazine articles, numerous book reviews, essays, screenplays, and stories. Furst 's articles on a variety of topics appeared in popular magazines and newspapers including Architectural Digest, Elle, Esquire, 50 Plus, International Herald Tribune, Islands, New Choices, New York, The New York Times, Pursuits, Salon, and Seattle Weekly. The articles are arranged by year of publication and frequently include typescript drafts and tearsheets. Of note is the April 1984 Esquire article, "The Danube Blues," which sparked Furst's interest in writing espionage novels. Numerous slides of his 1983 Danube trip are also available. Unproduced screenplays include "Heros of the Last War" (1984), and "Warsaw" (1992). Stories and essays vary in title and topic, such as "A Crisis in Our Lives," for the 1961/1962 Oberlin Yeoman,   "East Coast Time,"  "A New York Story,"  "Schmuck Economics" and "Things in the Woods. "

The correspondence in Series II, primarily incoming letters, is arranged in chronological order from 1963-2005, the bulk between 2001-2005. Correspondents include academics, agents, booksellers, literary associations, publishers, and readers worldwide. The small amount of personal correspondence from friends and acquaintances is virtually all related to Furst's books, with the exception of a 1963 letter from Furst's grandfather Max Stockman in which his grandson is urged to be a teacher and "write as a sideline" in his spare time.

Series III. Career-Related Material includes articles about Furst, book catalogs and festival fliers, contracts and royalty statements, interviews and publicity photographs.



Open for research

Index Terms

Fields, Debbi.
Document Types
Galley proofs.

Separated Material

Books, books on tape, and personal effects received with this collection were transferred to appropriate departments within the Ransom Center.

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2005 (Reg. no. 15374)

Processed by:

Hope Donovan Rider and Liz Murray, 2005

Alan Furst Papers--Folder List

Series I. Works, 1963-2004

Subseries A. Books
Blood of Victory (2002)
Box Folder
1 1 Notes and proposal; early title "The Fools of Time"
2-5 Research material
6-9 First draft, fragments, rough order
Box Folder
2 1-2 First draft, fragments, cont'd
3 Draft fragment, pp. 1-47
Box Folder
Final first draft
Box Folder
2 4-6 Original typescript
7 Photocopy
Box Folder
3 1 Photocopy, cont'd
2-3 Final draft
4-5 Copy edited typescript, 4/7/2002
6 Page proofs, incomplete; dust jacket proofs
7 Reviews, foreign
8 The Book of Spies (edited by Furst, 2002), notes, introduction, contracts, correspondence, dust jackets
The Caribbean Account (1981)
Box Folder
3 9 "Isn't Life a Fountain?," early title, drafts
Box Folder
4 1-2 "Isn't Life a Fountain?," cont'd
3-5 Typescript titled "The Caribbean Account"
6-7 Setting copy
Box Folder
5 1 Setting copy, cont'd
2 Reviews
Dark Star (1991)
Box Folder
5 3-6 Notes, research, book synopsis, and chapter outlines
7-8 Draft
Box Folder
6 1-2 Draft, cont'd
3-5 Setting copy
6 Proofs, master set, first pass
Box Folder
7 1 Proofs, cont'd
2 Dust jacket copy and jacket proofs
3* Publicity and reviews (*poster removed to Oversize Folder)
Dark Voyage (2004)
Box Folder
7 4 Notes
5-7 First draft
Box Folder
8 1-5 First draft, cont'd
6 Four intermediary drafts
Box Folder
9 1-7 Four intermediary drafts, cont'd
Box Folder
10 1 Four intermediary drafts, cont'd
Setting copy
Box Folder
10 2-3 Original typescript
4-5 Photocopy
6 Correspondence, re copy-editing
7 Dust jackets
Heart of the Raining Queen (1977)
Box Folder
10 8 Setting copy
Box Folder
11 1 Setting copy, cont'd
2-4* Serialization in The Weekly: Seattle's Newsmagazine, tearsheets (*oversize tearsheets removed to Box 32)
Kingdom of Shadows (2001)
Box Folder
11 5-6 Research, notes
7-8 First draft, with book proposal
Box Folder
12 1 First draft, with book proposal, cont'd
2-3 Copy-edited typescript
4-5 Setting copy
Box Folder
12 6 Printer's proof
Box Folder
13 1 Printer's proof, cont'd
2-3 Master set, first pass
4-5 Master set, second pass
6-7 Reviews, with related correspondence
Night Soldiers (1988)
Box Folder
14 1-2 Notes and research
3 Outline and plot summaries
Box Folder
14 4-5 Two uncorrected photocopies to p.109
6-8 Top copy, with corrections
Box Folder
15 1-2 Top copy, cont'd
3-6 Edited photocopy
Author's proofs
Box Folder
16 1-3 First set
4-6 Extra set
7 Paperback covers, dust jacket proofs and copy
8 Publicity, reviews, and related correspondence
One Smart Cookie (with Debbi Fields, 1987)
Drafts, 1986
Box Folder
17 1 Debbi's copy
2 Master copy
3 Randy's copy
4-5 Copy-edited typescript
6 Correspondence re revisions
Box Folder
The Paris Drop (1980)
Box Folder
17 7 "Where's My Chocolate Chip Cookie?," early title, draft
Box Folder
18 1-3 "Original manuscript"
4 Reviews
The Polish Officer (1995, 2001)
Box Folder
18 5 Notes and research
Box Folder
18 6-7 "First draft pages"
Box Folder
19 1 "First draft pages," cont'd
2-6 Intermediary drafts
Box Folder
20 1 Intermediary drafts, cont'd
* Setting copy and photocopy (*removed to Oversize Boxes 32-33)
Box Folder
20 2-3 Copy-edited, 5/19/94
Trade paperback edition
Box Folder
20 4-5 Uncorrected, 6/28/01
6-7 Master set, first pass, 6/28/01
Box Folder
21 1-2 Master set, second pass, 7/26/01
3 Correspondence and publicity
Red Gold (1999)
Box Folder
21 4 Proposal, "work points"
5 Research
6-8 Drafts
Box Folder
22 1-4 Drafts, cont'd
5 Revisions and notes
* Poster (*removed to Oversize Folder)
6 Reviews
Shadow Trade (1983)
Box Folder
22 7-8 First draft, titled "Doubles"
Box Folder
23 1-2 "Original manuscript"
3-4 Proofs
Box Folder
* Galleys (*removed to galley files)
Box Folder
23 5 Dust jackets
6 Reviews
The World at Night (1996)
Box Folder
Box Folder
24 1 Proposal
2 Research, notes
3-6 Draft
Box Folder
25 1* Publicity (*poster to removed to Oversize Folder)
2-3 Reviews
Screenplay, with James B. Harris
Box Folder
25 4 First draft
5 Draft titled "Soldiers of the Night," 1997
Box Folder
26 6 Draft, 1998
Your Day in the Barrel (1976)
Box Folder
25 7 Final draft
8 Reviews and correspondence
Box Folder
* Poster for reading at Montana Books, Seattle (*removed to Oversize Box 32)
Subseries B. Other Writings
Box Folder
26 1 "The Aphorisms of Sir George Savile," graduate school paper, 1963-1964
Box Folder
* Articles (*oversize removed to Box 32)
Box Folder
26 2 Absolut vodka ads, various dates
3 1976, 1981, Seattle Weekly
4-9 1983-1984, Esquire and Islands
Box Folder
27 1-3 1985-1987, Esquire, Architectural Digest, Elle
4-6 1988-1990, 50 Plus, International Herald Tribune, New Choices, Pursuits
7-9 2001-2002, New York, Salon, The New York Times
10-11 Book reviews
12 "First novel" fragment, spring 1963
13 "The Last Catalogue," with Jim Peterson
14 Notes, typescript and handwritten fragments
15 Poems, ca. 1969-1970
"Heros of the Last War," screenplay
Box Folder
28 1 Treatment, ca. March 1984
2 Screenplay, second draft, October 1984, for Northwest Indies, Inc.
"Warsaw," screenplay
Box Folder
28 3 First revision, July 14, 1992
4 Photocopy
5 Stories and essays, 1961-1983, and nd

Series II. Correspondence, 1963-2005

Box Folder
29 1 1963, letter from grandfather with photographs
2 1975-1986
3 1988-1992, Paris
4 1993-2000
5-6 2001
Box Folder
29 7 January-March
8 April-June
9 July-September
Box Folder
30 1 October-December
2-4 2003-2005

Series III. Career-Related Material

Box Folder
30 5 Articles about Furst
6 Book catalogs and fliers
7 Book festivals, fliers
Contracts, with related correspondence
Box Folder
30 8 The Caribbean Account
9 Dark Star
10 The Heart of the Raining Queen
11 Night Soldiers
12 One Smart Cookie
13 The Paris Drop
14 The Polish Officer
Box Folder
31 1 Red Gold
2 Shadow Trade
3 Your Day in the Barrel
4 Magazine articles
5 Other works
6 Interviews
7* Photographs, personal and publicity (*oversize contact prints, April 1, 1981, removed to Box 32)
8 Royalty statements and related correspondence

Box Folder
32-33 Oversize materials